Sonics, Movellans, a Goatee'd Master, and the Mary Celeste: Easter Eggs in Doctor Who Episode 1

; Date: April 15, 2017

Tags: Doctor Who »»»» Season 10

The opening episode of Doctor Who Season 10 was not only a rollicking romp through time and space, it had plenty of odd bits stuffed in the side of things to satisfy the die-hard fans. The story was billed as a good jumping-in point for anyone, and that it is. It was an excellent story -- dunno if it was worth the wait, but it's very satisfying. What follows are the odd bits I noticed.

Stuck in this normal looking office on this normal looking desk - a pencil holder, that instead of holding pencils and pens is holding sonic screwdrivers. Okay, cool, an obvious nod to the geeks. What else would The Doctor have on his desk? He obviously keeps a few spare Sonic's around - such as the one he throws to Nardol later in the episode when he needs Nardol to create a diversion.

The Raven? A few episodes ago, Clara Oswald had to Face the Raven. Is that why there's a Raven statue on his desk? But, his memory of Clara has been wiped. Why would he remember the Raven?

This is a nice touch. Bill said she didn't have pictures of her mother. In this picture, in the background there's a mirror, and in the mirror is the photographer, who looks a heck of a lot like The Doctor. How nice.

This caught my eye - when Bill followed the Doctor and Nardol down to the tunnels leading to The Vault, this was in the background. I had to rewind to see what it was. Hurm... Mary Celeste.

And in case you didn't catch this before, here it is again.

What's the Mary Celeste? That's an enigmatic sailing ship from the 1800's. It had been sailing through the Indian Ocean (if I recall the story right) and was found sailing on its own, with no crew on board. The enigma is - What happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste?

What does the Mary Celeste have to do with Doctor Who? Everything, and in fact it's highly related to part of the theme of the story.

In the First Doctor story The Chase, the Daleks were chasing the TARDIS crew through time and space. It was the first time the Daleks were shown having time travel. They found the TARDIS crew had landed somewhere, and went to the same place. The TARDIS crew managed to escape somewhere else, but the Daleks detected the new location and went to the same place. The TARDIS crew escaped again, going to another place, which the Daleks detected again, and this repeated through several places in time and space. They went to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, to a haunted house, to a movie set, and so on. One of the landing spots was The Mary Celeste.

The Pilot also had a similar structure, in that this water-creature-thingy was chasing the TARDIS crew through time and space in several locations. No matter where they went it followed, just like the Daleks in The Chase.

These are the "old friends" the Doctor mentioned were at this place. These are The Movellans, and are android-robot-thingies who were at war with the Daleks back when the Fourth Doctor met them. Too bad it was just a cameo appearance.

This is the appearance of John Simms in the preview trailer. We already covered the announcement that John Simms would be returning as The Master to play opposite against Missy. May Roger Delgado's soul rest in peace. We also went over The Master's history, in that the entire time we've seen The Master he's been living on borrowed time in borrowed bodies. The point in that is to discern where in the period where John Simm's played The Master did they draw him from to have this multi-Master story which we'll see later in the season.

The answer to that question isn't made clearer by this video. The face is not clear, but it looks like there's a goatee. At no time in John Simm's time as The Master does a goatee make sense. However both Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley did wear goatee's while playing The Master. Soooo......

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.